Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Freedom of Slavery

Two Greek words used to describe Christians are doulos and mathetes.  Doulos, meaning a slave, is the second most common word describing Christians in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. The word occurs more than one hundred times, second only to mathetes, which means  disciple.   Most of our English translations of the New Testament translate the word doulos as servant, rather than slave for the word slave seems too extreme and perhaps politically incorrect.  

Another Greek word, diakonos, is also translated servant. This word is used in the New Testament to refer to deacons, or servants of the church.

However, a doulos is lower in rank than a servant.  A doulos is bought for a price and is bound to serve his master.  We douloi, (plural for doulos) have been purchased by the shed blood of Christ. I Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that we are bound for life to serve Christ.  Romans 12:1-2 teaches us that to totally sacrifice our lives for Christ is our only reasonable service in the light of His extreme sacrifice for us.

The New Testament, especially Romans and Galatians, speaks repeatedly  about our freedom in Christ. For the Jews, the freedom of which it speaks is freedom from the oppressive form of Judaism with all its rules and regulations that the Pharisees had placed upon the Jews. That oppression continues today for not only Jews, but multitudes of people around the world who live under the bondage of  religion.  Satan is a cruel taskmaster and false religions are his major tools with which he keeps his slaves in bondage to him.

When sinners come to Christ today and discover their freedom in Christ, it often tends to intoxicate them and carry them away from the purpose of that freedom, that of serving Christ. Instead, they think that their new-found freedom in Christ gives them freedom and license to continue in sin. They mistakenly believe their security in Christ which the Bible so clearly teaches in Romans 8, as well as other Scriptures,  gives them freedom to selfishly indulge themselves in the lusts of the flesh without risking their salvation.

Peter warns us about misusing this new-found freedom in Christ in I Peter 2: 9-16.  There he explains to us that we are a peculiar,  purchased people who have been called out of the darkness and bondage of sin into the marvelous light of the Gospel to  exhibit to the world a life of victory over sin.  Yes, verse 16 tells us we live lives of freedom in Christ.  We’re not in bondage to the rules and regulations of religion.  We’ve found true freedom as douloi (slaves of Christ.)

In the following series of studies in Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians,  you will read of Paul’s burden to free the Galatian church from those who were attempting to  bring these young Christians back under the slavery of religion.

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September 1, 2010 - Posted by | Freedom

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